Migrants and regional economy in Helsinki-Uusimaa

On a European scale, the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region and its core, the Helsinki region, form the only metropolitan area in Finland. The 1.5 million inhabitants in the Helsinki region represent 27% of the population of the entire country, and 32% of
the jobs in the country are based there. The region produces 36% of the country’s gross domestic product, and the GDP per capita is 1.5 times larger than for the rest of Finland.

The Helsinki region has been growing fast over many decades. Net migration has been a major growth factor which, in recent decades, has increasingly more often involved immigration either from abroad or via other regions in Finland. More than a half of the region’s current inhabitants over 18 years of age were born outside the region and moved there at some point of their life. Based on the population growth in the current decade, the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region counts among the 20 fastest-growing NUTS 2 regions in the EU.

The Helsinki region needs and receives migrants

The Helsinki region has been growing fast for several decades. The population has quadrupled in comparison to the pre-war period and doubled since 1964. In the current decade, the region’s population has grown by 160,000 persons, averaging 1.3% growth per year. Approximately 60% of the net growth derives from migration gains, most of which encompasses immigration from abroad, but in-country migration from other parts of Finland is represented, as well.

Migration is the motor of the Helsinki region’s specialised regional economy

Typical of metropolitan cities, the economic structure of the Helsinki region differs from the rest of the country. The region of Helsinki specialises in knowledge-intensive services in particular (such as information and financing services as well as professional, scientific and technical activity). The region accounts for 60 of the value added to such fields of operation across the entire country.

The cities of Espoo, Helsinki and Vantaa and the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council have jointly commissioned and published a study: Migrants and regional economy in Helsinki-Uusimaa, abstract in English pdf

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